Gay Guy

Paul and I went to the new mall in Santa Monica on Sunday. I don’t know what the big deal about a new mall is but there were about three million people there.

I mean, it’s nice, but it’s not like Justin Bieber was performing.

Anyway, a guy asked for directions to the CPK and I tried to explain it to him but it was pretty loud in there, so I said I’d just show him. Being a people person, I struck up a conversation. He was from Minnesota, in town for Labor Day weekend, visiting with his boyfriend. Boyfriend? Hello! I was suddenly super interested in being his friend.

Now I am friendly with lots of gay people but I don’t really have any gay friends. I felt like such a loser for being so excited about meeting him, but I swear bagging a gay friend seemed like nailing a supermodel.

I know. It’s 2010. Who cares? But let’s be real. I do. Maybe I am buying into the stereotype that he would have good taste or something. That him accepting me as a friend means I passed some sort of big coolness test. Like I’ve been admitted into an elite club. This whole thing was pretty embarrassing to admit to myself but I was totally into being this guy’s friend.

Paul looked at me like I was crazy but he knows the Project and he must be used to me doing weird shit by now. When we got to CPK, I invited myself to have lunch with them. The four of us hung out, had pizza, exchanged info, and went our separate ways. Michael (the gay guy) said that people in L.A. were the nicest people he’s ever met. I said, “Yeah, we’re all really friendly here.”

Everything Happens for a Reason

I was all set to break the bad news to Marny. I picked her up after work Wednesday and took her to dinner at Birds in Los Feliz.

Couple of things about that. First of all, I always think of a date as including dinner, but Marny seemed especially surprised and psyched to be going out to eat. I think maybe she doesn’t eat out that much or that the guys she dates limit her to the Super Value Menu. Whatever the reason, she was very appreciative of my old-fashioned ways. Second, Birds is really far away. I hope my next girlfriend lives closer to me.

Anyway, like I said, I was going to break it off after dinner. I was going to say something about how we don’t have anything in common. How I don’t want to lead her on. But during dinner, she said something that made me actually start to like her.

I was talking about how weird it was that we met through a guy I met at the mall and she said, “Yeah, well, everything happens for a reason.”

If you haven’t been following from the beginning, this is exactly what my old girlfriend Amanda used to say and it always bugged the shit out of me. But just as I was about to launch into a tirade, Marny laughed and said, “God, I hate people who say that.” Then she went off on stupid “spiritual” people who believe in mystical forces like fate and destiny. She summed it up by saying, “I guess everything does happen for a reason, if you include random chance as a reason!”

And suddenly, I liked her.

I guess I should have given her a chance. Not everyone makes a great first impression. Sometimes it takes some searching to find something likable in a person. The old me cut her off too quickly. I made up my mind without getting all the evidence. But the new me likes people. And now I like Marny.

So there you have it. Marny and I are officially dating.

What To Do about Party Girl

I’m going out with Marny after work. I know I should break things off with her but Paul says I should “enjoy it while I can” and Neil thinks

I should secretly video tape us having sex so I can watch it later. (Neil may have been kidding but I’m not sure. He probably hopes he can watch it.)

The point is, every guy I’ve talked to says to keep hooking up with her because Marny is hot and willing. One guy posted a comment about how I’m not married and I should be out there having as much meaningless sex as possible.

So I’m conflicted. Not that I have a lot of readers here, but any advice would be appreciated.

A Favor for Bao Guy

Apparently I owe Scott for hooking me up with Marny because he emailed me and asked if I could help him look over his lease. For some reason he thinks I’m a lawyer even though I told him I’m a banker.

(My business card clearly does not say “lawyer” anywhere on it.) Maybe I told him I was a paralegal in New York and he thinks that’s close enough.

His roommates had a big party last month and they broke the Direct TV dish on the roof. Don’t ask me how. But the landlord is trying to evict them even though Direct TV is willing to fix it for free. So now I have to look over his lease and send the landlord a letter or something so they don’t get evicted.

On the one hand, this is really annoying. The last thing I want to be doing is looking over a lease. If I wanted to be a lawyer I could have stayed in New York and gone to law school. On the other hand, I should be flattered that he thinks I’m the best person to handle this. And that we’re close enough friends to ask. After all, isn’t this what I was looking for when I started this whole thing?

My Date with Party Girl

Friday night was weird. I picked Marny up in Hollywood and then drove all the way back to Brentwood for dinner. I should have just said meet me at the restaurant and saved myself 90 minutes but I was trying to make this a real date, and call me old fashioned but I think that includes pick-up service.

Marny looked great. She really is an attractive girl. She’s a little younger than me, 24 I think she said, and she has long, straight, blonde hair. Plus, she’s pretty tall. I’m only 5’9″ and she was almost as tall as me. And she’s very thin. I guess you have to be if you want to make it as an actress.

Anyway, we talked in the car about her typical day. She works as a receptionist for a producer and he lets her go on auditions whenever she wants. She had one audition on Thursday for a new sitcom that she thinks went well.

At dinner, she was talking about all the plays she’s done and her scene studies or something. I noticed the menu had been poorly formatted where the prices didn’t line up. Usually this is because someone used the space bar to line it up manually instead of the tab key and I tried a gambit of telling the waiter.

“Any questions about the menu?”

“Yes, I have a question. Did you ever notice that the prices don’t line up?”

I explained my theory about the space bar and the waiter seemed to be very sympathetic. He said he does freelance graphic design and he’d never make that mistake. But no one ever noticed it before and I wondered whether a graphic designer really could have missed something as obvious as that.

Anyway, I thought it was funny, the waiter did, too, but Marny just stared at me like I was crazy. Like, I was Rain Man or something.

The rest of the night I just focused on listening to Marny talk incessantly about acting. I asked other questions, like where she grew up and stuff, but it always came back to acting. I don’t want to sound like an elitist dick here, but “intellectually curious” would not be how you would describe Marny.

I took her to a jazz club after dinner. (Again, I wanted this to be a real date and I planned something special.) The weird thing was that I was glad not to have to listen to her anymore, but at one point, she held my hand and rested her head on my shoulder.

That kind of freaked me out. Again, it’s weird because we already had sex. But the intimacy of her holding my hand felt so… premature. I was really uncomfortable.

The other weird thing is that I thought the date was kind of blah. She had made a pretty mediocre impression on me. We didn’t really connect. She didn’t like my musings on tabs vs. spaces and I knew right then and there that we’d never have a future together. I didn’t want her to be my girlfriend. I didn’t even want to go out with her again.

But outside the jazz club, she kissed me. We made out for a while. And then I took her back to my place and we, you know.

So Saturday, I felt like shit. I think she really likes me. Probably because I’m such a good fucking listener now. But I can’t keep leading her on. It’s not right. I’m not 22 and capable of meaningless relationships anymore. Maybe this is what growing up is all about. I want more. I don’t want to just hook up. I want someone where there’s an end game. I feel like I’m one of those women from a bad romantic comedy. But it’s true, I want someone who I look forward to spending time with.

Still, there’s something intoxicating about having someone be more into you than you are her. And a totally hot girl, too. Intoxicating is definitely the right word. It feels like the beginning stages of addiction. (Educated guess only.) I know I need to end it before it goes too far.

Oh, and by the way, we already made plans for a third date for Wednesday.

Sorting Posts

Some people have written to me asking if there was an easier way to read the posts in chronological order. If you’re new to my blog, it makes a lot more sense if you start at the beginning and read it that way than the default reverse chronological order. Anyway, Paul helped me figure it out and now there’s a handy pull-down menu on the right column that can sort the posts the way I wrote them. Enjoy.

Another Waitress

Sleeping with Marny made me forget all about my lunch with Paul on Saturday. He’s been following my exploits on the blog and I think he’s come around to thinking this is pretty cool.

I was feeling emboldened by my break in chastity and wanted to show off how well I talk to strangers now. So I starting talking to the waitress. It went something like this:

“Hey, you’re new. I haven’t seen you here before.”

She said she started a few weeks ago so I asked where she worked before that. In less than two minutes I found out she was a fit model. I’d never heard of this, but apparently it means she’s a perfect size 4 for a particular brand of jeans so they use her to make more size 4 patterns. You could say she’s the Platonic size 4.

She went off to put in our order and I looked at Paul feeling smug. He had just watched the whole time and was pretty impressed by the whole conversation.

When she came back, I asked some more questions, but this time she only gave me one or two-word answers. Not sure why I suddenly lost my rapport with her, I tried again when she brought out our food.

She looked at me kind of annoyed and said, “Look, no offense, but I don’t date customers and I’m super busy today so…”

I turned red, she took off, and Paul laughed at me. Was it my hubris that had gotten the better of me? Or did I break the rule about seeming too creepy? Or is it just waitresses who are buzz kills?

Party Girl

I went to that party at Scott’s friend’s apartment in North Hollywood. First of all, what a dump. How do people live there? I live in Brentwood where it’s literally ten degrees cooler, and by the way, it’s not much more expensive.

I know people who live in Santa Monica who pay the same as chumps in the valley.

Anyway, the party was at this director’s apartment. I use the term “director” loosely, as he has “directed” one short film starring Scott, and it’s about a guy who stops a mugging/rape only to find out in the end that it’s really just a cat and I guess he imagined everything else. I won’t go into detail about how bad the film is.

The party was mostly actors and I will say that actors are a pretty attractive bunch. There were a lot of cute girls there. I didn’t know anyone other than Scott so I made a beeline for him. He introduced me as his “lawyer friend” and I had to keep correcting him since I am a banker, not a lawyer. But he was already too drunk to make the mental note and continued calling me a lawyer.

I met a few people through Scott, including one really hot “actress” named Marny. I met a few other people on my own, asking a lot of open-ending questions. The one thing I learned was that it’s hard to make it big as an actor. That’s all anyone talked about. Auditions, callbacks, getting an agent. I saw “Swingers” a long time ago and it was exactly like that. I think when people found out I couldn’t help them they kind of lost interest.

So I went back to Marny and listened to her talk about a screenplay she’s writing about two women who rob banks and kill other women’s cheating boyfriends (real subtle). To be honest, it made absolutely no sense but I listened and nodded thoughtfully. This went on for a long time. Before I knew it, the party was breaking up and she was just finishing the story.

I figured maybe I’d get her number and call her sometime but suddenly, she says, “You want to go somewhere else?”

I was like, sure. So we went to some bar and had a few drinks. Then, when I really thought the night was over (it was like 4 am), she says, “Do you want to come back to my place?”

To be honest, I was shocked. I was literally speaking only 5% of the time. How can that be interesting enough to invite me back to her place? But I guess she just really likes people who listen.

We went back to her place and well, you know. Sunday morning was kind of awkward but I kissed her goodbye and said I’d call her.

All day yesterday I was thinking about two things: (1) should I call this girl? I mean, I didn’t really find her interesting. But she was very attractive and I think I’ve earned a meaningless physical relationship. On the other hand, where is this going to go? It’s going to end badly if it even begins, so why be an asshole and pretend to like her? On the other, other hand, I did say I’d call her…

The second thing I kept thinking about was Elevator Girl. I mean Michelle.

I Met Elevator Girl!

It finally happened. Just as I was leaving for the day the elevator door opened and there she was. And she was alone. I was caught off guard for a moment but I immediately realized I only had an elevator ride down to the lobby to make this happen so I just got in, let the door close, and said, “Hi, I’m Fletcher.”

I glanced a bit in her direction, but more or less stayed looking forward (i.e., practically no eye contact).

And apparently when someone introduces themselves, it’s a normal human reaction to respond in kind.

She said, “Michelle.”

“I’ve seen you before.” Stating the obvious but it’s a start.

“Yeah, I work at […].”

I told her where I worked.

Ding. We reached the lobby.

“Well, have a great weekend,” I said casually.

“You, too.”

And that was it.

Possibly the shortest, most insignificant conversation ever, but it felt amazing! You know why? Because first of all, I did what I said I was going to do and took control of my destiny. Second, now I know her name, so the next time we see each other, we won’t be strangers. It won’t be weird to talk.

On the drive home, I wondered why this was such a huge thing. I mean, isn’t communication like this the most basic human skill? How did we lose this ability to talk to people?